Staff Directory

Jabbar Bennett

Jabbar R. Bennett

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D. (he/him) is MSU’s vice president and chief diversity officer. Bennett works to advance MSU’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategic priorities along with staff in the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (I3), and partnership among senior executives, deans, faculty, staff, students and alumni. Bennett is also a professor of medicine in the College of Human Medicine.

Prior to joining MSU in December 2020, Bennett served as the inaugural associate provost for diversity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer at Northwestern University. Previously, he worked as associate dean of the Graduate School, and associate dean for diversity in the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University. Bennett also held administrative appointments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and served on the faculty at Harvard, Brown and Northwestern.

Bennett received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Spanish from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and earned a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences from Meharry Medical College. Bennett completed postdoctoral research training at Harvard Medical School and is an alumnus of the Harvard University Administrative Fellows Program and Massachusetts Education Policy Fellowship Program. Listen to Bennett's welcome interview with Russ White.

Audrey Bentley

Audrey Bentley

Senior Outreach Coordinator

Audrey Bentley (she/her) is the Senior Community Outreach Coordinator in the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and is committed to the principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion. With the support of faculty, administrators, students, and staff, Bentley leads the coordination of several annual university-wide programs such as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and César Chávez/Dolores Huerta Commemorative Celebrations, and the Excellence in Diversity Awards Program. Bentley also assists the Director of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion in I3 in fulfilling the university’s compliance responsibilities. For several years, Bentley has coordinated the compilation of I3’s Annual Diversity Report in partnership with the Office of Institutional Research, and contributions from various units across the university.

Bentley received a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Spring Arbor University.

Terrence L. Frazier

Terrence L. Frazier

Special Assistant to the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Terrence L. Frazier, Ph.D. (he/him) is the Special Assistant to the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. Frazier will work closely with the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer to support the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion strategic priorities at MSU.

Prior to joining the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Services for seven years at MSU. He provided oversite in the following areas: Faith Base Groups, Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL), Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC), Office of Cultural & Academic Transition (OCAT), MOSAIC Multicultural Unity Center, Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE), Resource Center for Person with Disabilities (RCPD), Recreational Sports and Fitness Services, Students Parents Resource Center (SPRC), Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC), and Women*s Student Services (WSS). Frazier has served on multiple MSU university-wide DEI initiatives over the years. He will be a Big Ten Alliance – Academic Leadership Program Fellow for 2021.

Prior to MSU, Frazier was the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Alabama A&M University which is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). In addition, he served as the Director of Multicultural Affairs for Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

Frazier has presented at numerous regional and national conferences. He is published in two books that address intercultural responsive leadership and employability skills through identity development and engagement programs.

Frazier has a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University (Dissertation: African American College Men Holding Leadership Roles in Majority White Student Groups); Master of Education in Higher Education from Ohio University; and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ohio University.

Lisa Fuentas

Lisa Fuentes

Staff Assistant

Lisa Fuentes (she/her) is the staff assistant in the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (I3) and joined the team in 2017. She works closely with the I3 directors and staff with a focus on program planning and coordination.

Prior to working joining I3, she spent 17 years in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU and has worked at the university since 1990. Fuentes has worked in various capacities during her tenure across academic and administrative departments. She attended Lansing Community College and Davenport College.

Deborah Johnson

Deborah J. Johnson

Director of the Diversity Research Network
I3 Faculty Associate, and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Deborah J. Johnson, Ph.D. (she/her) completed her doctorate at Northwestern University in human development and social policy. Currently, Professor of human development and family studies, she joined the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives as a faculty associate in 2015 and the inaugural Director of the Diversity Research Network since 2016. In 2020, Johnson served an interim term as Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

Johnson leads the Diversity Research Network, a faculty centered campus-wide research centered networking and resource entity. Her efforts support faculty through these resources and facilitation, fundraising and a wide range of programming. She works with campus stakeholder units and interested faculty, staff, and student organizations to develop training and education efforts that address diversity broadly, and on racial literacy, specifically. She also works with faculty and campus units to develop diversity best practices pertaining to the recruitment, advancement, and retention of diverse faculty and academic leadership. 

Johnson's research emphasizes cultural adjustment and ethnic-racial dimensions of development, centrally in the area of racial/ethnic identity development and racial socialization in varying context, including young children, adolescents, and emerging adults principally among African-American and other ethnic children and families, domestically, and but also internationally (i.e., Caribbean, Zimbabwean, Australian, and Roma youth. Author of more than 90 publications including books, monographs, articles, and chapters. Her last three book volumes look at global and domestic issues of school, prejudice, and child rights. Newest volume, Handbook of Children and Prejudice: Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy (2019). Fitzgerald, H.E., Johnson, D.J., Qin, D.B., Villarruel, F.A., Norder, J. (Eds.). Springer. Her upcoming book on Identity Re/Formation among Immigrant Families, again emphasizes youth and families in global contexts.

Lynn Lammers

Lynn Lammers

Artistic Coordinator for the Transforming Theatre Ensemble

Lynn Lammers (she/her) is the Artistic Coordinator for the Transforming Theatre Ensemble (TTE). She writes, directs, and produces interactive theatre pieces that are used as a focal point for dialogue and learning. Lynn has presented her work on interactive theatre at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, the International Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference, and the LaMaMa Director's Symposium in Umbria, Italy. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Lammers' professional regional theatre work includes directing at Williamston Theatre, Kickshaw Theatre, Flint Repertory Theatre, and Tipping Point Theatre, among others. She has a master’s degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism from MSU.

Photo of Shondra L. Marshall, Ph.D., Program Coordinator for the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives

Shondra L. Marshall

Program Coordinator for the Diversity Research Network

Shondra L. Marshall, Ph.D. (she/her) is the Program Coordinator for the Diversity Research Network (DRN). Her interests in research, diversity, inclusion, and equitable leadership practices align with the DRN’s mission. In 2019, Marshall received her Ph.D. at Eastern Michigan University in educational studies with an urban education focus. Her research examined a place-based teacher preparation program. While completing her doctoral studies she became the recipient of the King Chavez Parks Fellowship for future faculty and policymakers.

Marshall’s current research efforts focus on exploring racial socialization and parental influences of African American students. She is a two-time MSU alum with a strong commitment to community engagement and service. Marshall is an active member and leader within the MSU Black Alumni, Inc.

Henry Mochiba

Henry Mochida

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Communications Manager

Henry Mochida (he/him) is MSU’s inaugural diversity, equity and inclusion communications manager. Mochida works to strategically elevate MSU’s DEI policies, practices and programming with staff in University Communications, the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and communications professionals across campus.

Prior to joining MSU, Mochida served as the public relations and communications specialist for three nationally leading social justice education units in student affairs at the University of Michigan. While there, he was an active member and leader within the Asian Pacific Islander Desi / American (APID/A) Staff Association. Previously, he worked as a communications specialist at an early childhood education center in New England, associate director of digital media at the University of Hawaiʻi, and media planner for a startup arts organization and nonprofit organizations in Honolulu. 

Mochida received his master’s degree in urban & regional planning at the University of Hawaiʻi, where he innovated the application of participatory action video as part of community movement building. While studying at the Ph.D. level he focused on representation, power, and institutional storytelling.

Photo of Samuel Saldívar III, Ph.D., Multicultural Education Coordinator for the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives

Samuel Saldívar

Multicultural Educational Coordinator

Samuel Saldívar III, Ph.D., (he/him) is the Multicultural Educational Coordinator with the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (I3). He joined the office in 2020 and works with the Education team and the I3 staff to address numerous requests for learning opportunities across the spectrum of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These requests include the Implicit Bias Certification Program and Anti-Racist Pathways, amid other learning opportunities.

Prior to joining the Education team in I3, Saldívar served as an assistant professor of English Literature at Grand Rapids Community College. Before that, he was an assistant professor of Latinx Literature at Texas State University. Saldívar’s areas of specialization lie in Latinx Narrative Studies that include literature, film, television, and Comix. He is especially interested in how stories are put together, and how these narratives, in turn, impact our personal, social, and academic communities in positive and negative ways.

Saldívar earned a dual major Ph.D. in Chicano/Latino Studies and English Literature from MSU, and a bachelor’s and master of arts degree in Latinx Literature with a Latinx Studies graduate certification from The Ohio State University. His publications and presentations have critically examined the role that language, stereotype, and bias have in constructing Latinx identities in dominant American spaces.

Patti Stewart

Patricia (Patti) L. Stewart

Director of Education and Development Programs

Patti Stewart, Ph.D. (she/her) has worked in faculty development and instructional technology at Michigan State University since 2003. In her current role with the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, she provides guidance and structure for learning opportunities that support inclusive and positive culture-building at MSU. This includes designing curriculum, organizing and often facilitating learning experiences, and consulting on educational needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff, and students across the institution.

Stewart’s areas of specialization include curriculum development, educational technology integration, and program assessment, with specific skills in the areas of faculty development, media design, and online/blended course and program design. Prior to her current position, she has worked in Academic Advancement Network/Faculty and Organizational Development as the Director of Faculty and Instructional Development, in IT Services: Teaching and Learning (formerly Virtual University Design and Technology), the Broad College of Business, and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at MSU, and in marketing and instructional services at Central Michigan University. Patti earned her Ph.D. in educational administration and MA in telecommunications, information and media studies from MSU, and BFA in visual communications from Kendall College of Art and Design.

Sam Watson

Sam Watson

Executive Assistant to Jabbar R. Bennett

Sam Watson (he/him) is the Executive Assistant to Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer within the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Watson facilitates and manages the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer’s extensive schedule and is the fiscal point person for the office.

Additionally, he interacts with students, faculty, staff, administrators, executives, and the public in support of the office, and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. Watson received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Western Michigan University in 2006. Prior to his role with the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Watson held similar roles at Lyman Briggs College and The Broad Art Museum.